What’s the difference between rolled cookies and drop cookies?
Drop cookies typically have softer dough, and can be dropped onto a cookie sheet by the spoonful without having to be rolled or shaped. Rolled cookie dough is much stiffer, and needs to be rolled out or shaped by hand.
What’s the difference between biscuits and cookies?
We call them cookies in the U.S., but other countries know cookies by different names. In other English-speaking countries outside of America, like England and Australia, the common word for cookies is biscuits. Not to be confused with these biscuits.
What kind of cookie sheet should I use? Does it matter?
Some cookie sheets are better than others! Whichever cookie sheets you decide to use, make sure they are completely cool. We’d recommend having three sheets handy so you can bake one pan while you prepare another and cool a third. Cookie sheets come in a few different styles:
Shiny: Silver-colored aluminum sheets without sides will give you the best cookies. The shiny metal reflects heat, so the cookies won’t burn as easily.
Black or dark surface: Cookies bake much faster on dark, non-reflective surfaces that absorb heat. Check your cookies at the minimum bake time to prevent the bottoms from burning.
While many cookies have enough butter/shortening to prevent sticking, nonstick pans are still nice for cleanup. Pay attention to the color of your nonstick pan to adjust bake time (see above).
What cookies are best for mailing?
Cookies are the best gift! When mailing cookies, choose moist, firm-textured cookies that will remain fresh and intact during transport. The best choices include drop cookies, unfrosted bars, fudgy brownies and other sturdy treats. Pack them in a firm-sided cardboard, metal or plastic container lined with plastic wrap or foil. Insulate the sides of the container with a “wall” of crumpled waxed paper. Place waxed paper between each layer or wrap cookies in pairs, flat sides together. For extra protection, place the container in a larger box padded on all sides, with crumpled paper or packing material. Wrap the box securely and mark it “perishable” and send it on its way.
What type of fat should I use in cookies?
The fat you choose to use in your cookies will affect flavor and texture. So which is better? It’s all about personal preference, and a bit of science. Some general rules to keep in mind, especially when making classic recipes like chocolate chip cookies:
Butter: Tested, tried and true, butter is the fat that will give your cookies the most flavor. If you use melted butter, you’ll get denser, chewier cookies. If you cream softened butter and sugar before adding the other ingredients, you’ll get lighter, fluffier cookies.
Shortening: Substituting shortening for butter will give your cookies less flavor, but more texture, tenderness and moistness. Cookies baked with only butter tend to be crispier and spread out a bit more than cookies made with shortening. If it’s the softer, store-bought quality texture you crave, shortening is your ingredient.
A little bit of both: If you want the best of both worlds—a cookie that’s crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, use equal parts butter and shortening. Whatever you do, don’t use vegetable oil as you choice fat in chocolate chip cookies—the cookies will spread out, be quite thin and not have the same flavor.
How do I keep my dough from getting too sticky?
Chilling cookie dough—especially when making sugar cookie cutouts—is a crucial step to avoiding sticky dough! Pop the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes for best results. Chilled dough also holds its shape better in the oven, which will help those special holiday shapes look more cleanly cut and defined.
How long should I let cookies cool?
If you’re decorating sugar cookies, allow you cookies to cool completely before icing, otherwise things will get a little messy. No matter what kind of cookie recipe you’re using—be it sugar, chocolate chip or peanut butter—make sure you have a cooling rack handy! You’ll want to remove the cookies from the cookie sheet after a couple minutes and transfer to the rack. If you leave them to cool on the hot cookie sheet for too long, they will continue to bake and be overdone.